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Anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square react to a televised statement on Feb. 10, 2011, by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down the following day. His departure and that of Tunisia's Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali have some seeing the twilight of U.S. influence in the Middle East and others seeing new opportunities. (Associated Press)

Anti-government protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square react to a televised statement on Feb. 10, 2011, by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down the following day. His departure and that of Tunisia's Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali have some seeing the twilight of U.S. influence in the Middle East and others seeing new opportunities. (Associated Press)

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.